military-silicone-rubber-componentsNew technology has crept to the forefront of concerns at the Pentagon. In a recent press conference, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, introduced a new procurement rules and handbook. “Better Buying Power 3.0” is the third in a series since 2010 that lays out plans for government suppliers. According to National Defense Magazine, Kendall outlined the need for a culture of innovation in military procurement. The Pentagon has called for engineers, technologists, and research and development teams to create cutting-edge technology to keep the U.S. on pace with other countries throughout the world.

Retrofitting Old Technology
With a $17 billion cut in its budget over the past four years, the Pentagon is looking for cheaper and easier ways to implement new ideas. Kendall called for new twists on fundamental ideas, including surveillance, networking and stealth technology. Applying his ideas to real-world industries, creating cost-effective innovations is doable through the use of custom molded rubber products. It’s possible to retrofit new keypads on existing equipment – ships, subs, planes and communications devices, for example – to replace old ones. New controls and information can be added through upgrades with new technology.

Meeting Demands of ITAR
There are limitations on where the government in general and military in particular can have its new innovations manufactured and brought to life. Regulated by the itar-logoInternational Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and overseen by the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), only certain companies and manufacturers are qualified to handle the work. ITAR registered companies that follow records mandates and comply with regulations are capable of creating components.

Creating Quality Innovative Components
One way to ensure that the new innovations in military technology meet the needs of those using them is to create the actual products with high quality components through ITAR-certified manufacturers. Liquid silicone injection molding, for example, is a more reliable and more advanced process than using gum-stock to create silicone rubber components through the process of compression molding. Liquid silicone injection molding produces more durable and precise results than compression molding, especially in large numbers. As a result, it’s important to choose an ITAR-compliant industry leader in military silicone rubber manufacturing using the liquid silicone molding process to do any work related to military keypads and rubber components.

Military or Commercial
In the “Better Buying Power 3.0” white paper recently released by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, it’s suggested that commercial innovation is outpacing military innovation. New ideas and technologies are coming from the private sector more often than from the U.S. military branches themselves. Advancements in microelectronics, sensor technology and more sophisticated materials are changing the face of what’s available in the commercial sector. Military enhancements can adopt some of these ideas and capabilities by adapting some of these concepts for different uses.

SiTECH is an ITAR certified rubber molding manufacturer based in Virginia. We use high quality materials and injection molding processes to create custom rubber keypads, as well as commercial and military silicone rubber components. For more information on how SiTECH can work with your company to help create new and innovative products in keeping with the guidelines set forth in the new procurement and rules handbook, contact us today.